Source: Africa Research Institute
By Michael Walls
On independence in 1960, Somalia was widely regarded as “the African electoral democracy most likely to succeed”. The people were (mostly) united by language, religion and culture, with few of the inconvenient ethnic divisions that were meant to make democratic nation-building so difficult. To outside observers, the sheer vitality of democratic debate, building on centuries-old discursive traditions, was evidence of just such a bright, representative future.